Wondering how to celebrate Food Day this year? Consider heading outside to garden! The National Gardening Association gives us the, um, dirt on the many benefits of gardening.
Gardening provides a process-focused tool to encourage numerous beneficial outcomes. Gardening can increase food security by improving access to fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that children are more likely to try fruits and vegetables when they have participated in growing that produce. National Gardening Association (NGA) is a non-profit focused on providing garden education and support for youth and adults alike.
Growing fruits and vegetables in a school or community garden is an easy and fun opportunity to join in the Food Day celebration. So this year, join the Food Day movement to promote healthy eating by organizing a gardening event in your school or town.
Here are some ideas for how to celebrate Food Day using your school garden:
- Feature a different fruit/vegetable each day of the week leading up to Food Day. Have students make a poster for each fruit/vegetable and include why eating that fruit/vegetable is a healthy choice. Display the posters in the cafeteria.
- Have students share their favorite family recipes that use produce from the garden. Celebrate the day of Food Day with a harvest feast allowing students to bring in prepared dishes from home.
- Prepare a recipe together as a class using produce from the garden. Some ideas for simple recipes include: salsa, vegetable pizza, zucchini bread.
Looking for resources? NGA shares our resources via three websites:
- Gardeningwithkids.org - Our online store for educators seeking material to support their gardening efforts
- Garden.org - Practical information for gardeners
- Kidsgardening.org - Free resources to support educators interested in gardening with youth
Kidsgardening.org is great for Food Day organizers. Through it, our education specialists provide FREE resources including timely articles related to what’s new in school gardening and standards-based lesson plans and activities.
Also at Kidsgardening.org educators can apply for one or more school garden grants. Over the years NGA has awarded over 9,000 grants and we are always looking for additional sponsors so we can expand our offerings. You can find out when grants become available right away and have access to our free content by signing up for our online newsletter at kidsgardening.org.
Be sure to catch our September edition of Kids Garden News to receive more ideas to incorporate into your Food Day celebration. Happy gardening!